Children are adventurers by nature so what looks like danger to us is an exciting new place to explore or something to poke and prod. It’s our job as parents to try to reduce as best we can any risk of injury to our children.
Did you know that most injuries in the 0-5 years age group happen in the home?
We need to spot the potential dangers and then take actions to sort them.
Most accidents can be avoided very easily which is why childproofing your home is so important for the safety of your children.
Do no use baby-walkers as they are the largest cause of falls and burns to children under one. Recent studies in Trinity college found that they actually slow down children’s ability to walk by weeks.
So how do we detect the dangers around our home?
This may sound ridiculous and you may feel ridiculous but get onto your honkers and go through each room in your house at your child's eye level and ask yourself is there anything in this space that could be a danger to a child?
You will be amazed at the view you get of your home and surroundings from this level. You will suddenly see what your child sees, how exciting and inviting many dangerous items and areas look.
What areas to cover
- Go into each room in the house remember under the stairs and hallways
- Go outside your home - front and back - include driveway, gardens, avenue, shed and garage (you may not want to do this on your honkers!)
- Other people’s houses If your child is minded in another person's house eg carer or grandparent.
Some key areas to safeguard
- Use stair gates at the top and bottom of stairs stair gates
- Use furniture safety straps to secure TVs, chest of drawers and bookcases to walls or floors
- Use latches and cupboard locks and door stoppers home safety pack
- Avoid cords on curtains or blinds or make existing cords safer by replacing with blind wands or use devices to tie the cords down blind cord safety winders Unfortunately, approx. one child dies in Ireland every year due to strangulation from corns to blinds
- Cover any electrical outlets with plug covers home safety pack
- Safeguard your oven oven door lock
- Attach corner and edge guardsmulti purpose edge guards
- Consider the use of a playpen/travel cot as a safe space for short periods of me playpens and travel cots
keeping things out of reach
- hot drinks
- laundry and cleaning products
- keys to the house or car
- turn pot handles in and use the back rings of the hob
- flexes and all electrical equipment
Constantly reassess your child proofing being aware of your child's age and development stage.
Educating your child about safety is crucial. But remember children do what they see and not what they hear so lead by example, show them how to safely act around the house.
Most importantly please remember there is no substitution for adult supervision as children do not understand danger.